Jacqueline Y. Yao of Savannah College of Art and Design


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Meet the Artist

  • About This Artist

    The artist recently graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Her goal is to create long-lasting jewelry and accessories that aren't just roughly beautiful but also have a soul passed on from generation to generation. Drawing inspiration from music subculture, philosophy, and art, Yao continuously seeks the perfect balance between meaning, beauty, and function while cherishing the heritage of making things by hand in the best possible way. Jewelry expresses a possibility that few observers have ever noticed: Its ability to touch people. She uses a simple way to express complex thoughts, and she believes handmade can build a special relationship with jeweler and wearer.

  • Q&A With This Artist

    A: If we reduce ourselves, we can enlarge the work as a journey. I imagine myself as a spring and wire. I want to use a simple way to express complex thoughts. I put all my emotions into wire. The process tells my story while I am weaving, building a space to extend my jewelry to the world as a tiny wearable sculpture. I believe great design simplifies a very complicated world.

    A: Silver wire is a beautiful material for form expression. The design process is related to how I see, what I see, and how I translate it into metal. They match all expectations. The silver evokes in me a sense of softness and a soft touch but is it is still quite strong. I can compare the pieces to women: women are perceived to be vulnerable in some regards; however, we are the strongest. We are blessed with patience, humility, and tolerance. We have infinite possibilities.

    A: As a jeweler, I am inspired by the world and the moments that I experience. Whatever experiences I go through create emotions in me and that is what triggers me to create jewelry pieces. Noticing things is also a source of inspiration as I am observing the environment that surrounds me. I get my best ideas in daily life. I’m allowing my subconscious to take over so that I can free associate. I have to be in a state of play to design. If I'm not in a state of play, I can’t make anything.

    A: Jewelry is not only a fact or what we see but what we imagine. The creation of jewelry is a type of artwork meant to remind us of experiences or a memory that drove us to buy or create the piece. I love the words "Unexpected Pleasure." It is a wonderful and beautiful thing to feel the unknown and experience the unpredictable pleasure, which for me is the greatest joy and hope in the small but real happiness of life. I don't know what will happen next, but I will think about it—maybe I will be attracted by the smell of a cup of coffee at the corner of the road and then walk into the store to enjoy it the next time.

    A: The combination of interrogation and empathy is something that’s been with me from the very beginning. I grew up in a progressive and loving family. Both my parents were extremely free-thinking. My mother was adventurous. She gave me total freedom within an environment to express myself. I always treated everything with a kind of joyfulness, and I can feel the beauty it brings me. This is soft power that I felt after growing up and understanding about life in general. It is beautiful happiness. I would like to reward this kind of feeling. From a kid, I was interested in how people behave differently in different spaces. Watching the world from the sidelines, I was fascinated to see their various stories. It’s like being outside of it and to be able to think from an objective point of view.

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